Pacific News and Notes - 09.30.08
After trading Mathieu Schneider to the Thrashers last week, GM Brian Burke was finally able to sign Teemu Selanne to a two year contract.
“We’re happy to have Teemu back and thank him for his patience as we sorted out our salary cap situation,” said Burke. “Teemu is a true Duck. His loyalty to this franchise and community is unquestioned.”
“This is the only place I wanted to play,” said the 38-year-old Selanne. “We have great owners, great fans and a chance to win again. This team is hungry and ready to go.”
The 10-time All-Star is the all-time leading scorer for the Ducks. He has scored 100 goals in the last 3 years, with 207 points in 188 games. It is obvious that the Finn can still play at a high level, and fans will love that he has made a decision to stay with the team for two seasons.
Kings forward Anze Kopitar is hoping to lead the team to a place it hasn’t been in five years – the playoffs.
Kopitar may be young, but he is one of the leaders of the team, along with players like Patrick O’Sullivan and Dustin Brown. The Kings and their fans have suffered much disappointment in recent years, but there is hope for the future.
“It’s hard when you’re losing all the time and the team is struggling and the guys aren’t as happy as they would normally be when in the thick of a playoff hunt,” Kopitar told NHL.com. “But there are lessons to be learned from losing. You have to learn how to lose, something I’ve experienced more than I probably would have liked in my first two seasons. I’m hopeful we can turn this thing around.”
Los Angeles is not likely to finish in the top 8 in the West this season, but it won’t be long before they reach that point. The team is starting to shed some of the dead weight from aging veterans, and they are building a nice core of talented kids. Kopitar, O’Sullivan, Brown, Johnson, Bernier, Frolov…they will be exciting to watch in coming years.
The Phoenix Coyotes posted a convincing 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night, and it was a couple of kids who got stole the show.
Twenty-year-old Peter Mueller netted a hat trick and rookie Mikkel Boedker added two more. Mueller scored his three goals in the second period, with two of them coming within 49 seconds of each other.
A lot of work needs to be done if the San Jose Sharks hope to be contenders this season. In a game against Vancouver last weekend, the Sharks found themselves taking too many penalties and down 3-0 heading into the third period. They managed to score two in the final frame, but the damage had been done.
“The team wasn’t prepared and it’s squarely on my shoulders and on the leadership’s shoulders,” said coach McLellan. “We had a little discussion between the second and the third. We had to manufacture a moment to get them going and that was unacceptable.”
One area in which the Sharks have been excelling is fighting. On Friday it was Jody Shelley winning a fight against George Parros, and on Saturday it was Brad Staubitz bloodying Rick Rypien.
Maybe the so-called enforcers can inspire the team to play well.